Fighting the windmills of abstentionism

gilliamdq_largeThe MUD will be holding primaries in 33 electoral circuits this Sunday. The primaries will be used to elect opposition candidates for the Parliamentary Elections that will supposedly take place before the year is up.

At this point, we should be hearing about the candidates – what they offer, what their message is, how they are different from the other contenders. We already have our favorites.

But instead, all we hear lately is about how anyone calling into question the CNE is baaaaaad.

Luis Vicente Leon is talking about this. Chuo Torrealba is talking about this. Seemingly every MUD politician is talking about this. In fact, I received a barrage of negative comments when a few days ago I posted something about how the electoral conditions in Venezuela are not fair. Supposedly, anyone who talks about how the CNE cheats … is promoting abstention.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, let’s get a clear fact out of the way: there is no real push for abstention in Venezuela.

There are voices calling for accountability in the CNE. There are also some fringe elements who believe that voting “enables” the dictatorship, that participating in the CNE’s tricks “legitimizes” their shenanigans. There are some who question the motivations of the “official” opposition (their words, not mine).

But this does not make a serious political movement. When the day for the election comes – whenever that is, right Tibisay? – the opposition will vote just like they have done in the last few years.

Given there is no real threat of abstention, what is the point then of criticizing – scratch that, humiliating – those who question the strategy?

It has come to the point that the MUD treats dissident chavistas with more respect than it shells out to dissident voices within their own camp.

Here is my message to the MUD: we will all vote if we are allowed to do so. Don’t be afraid of accountability. Those “radicals” that you are so afraid of … are on your side. The ghosts of abstentionism are simply that – enemies in your head. Focus on the issues at hand, and ignore the abstention camp.

Get that bug out of your butt and quit fighting your own side. Navel-gazing is getting you – and us – nowhere.

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